Want to Stop Puppy Biting
But Don't Know How?

What has your dog been nipping? Slippers? The carpet? The couch? You want to stop puppy biting especially if the list includes your finger! When that happens, it's definitely high time to give your pup bite inhibition training.

Puppy Biting: Natural and Necessary

Puppies bite—and it's good that they do. Puppy biting is a crucial first step in teaching dogs how to use their teeth. Normally, they learn this skill from their mother, littermates, and the other dogs in the pack. Unfortunately, your dog is no longer in this environment so you have to take over your dog's training. Your task, then, is not to stop puppy biting but to teach your pup bite control.

Two Kinds of Puppy Biting

Before you stop puppy biting, you should understand that there are two types of biting involved.

Play Biting - Puppies nip a lot while at play and when they're teething. This behavior is generally okay while the dog is young, but you will need to stop it as the dog grows older.

Fear Biting - What does your dog do when people come to visit? Does he hide under the table? Does he snarl whenever someone tries to get to him? It's more difficult to stop puppy biting when your dog bites out of fear and panic, but it can be done. The trick is to start dog behavior modification training while your dog is young—8 weeks old or maybe even younger!

Note that some breeds are more likely to develop fear biting behavior. These breeds include Great Danes, Dalmatians, and Border Collies.

How to Stop Fear Biting

If it's clear to you that your pup has fear biting issues, here's what you can do:

1. Discover the Trigger - What makes your dog panic? What makes it to go on a violent biting spree? Is it the sound of thunder? The whirring of certain machines? A stranger in your house? Your shadow? Pay attention to the triggers of your dog's bad behavior.

2. Teach Your Dog to Face Fear - Once you have figured out what sends your dog panicking, teach him to face his fears. If it's strangers that he's scared of, put your dog on a leash so he cannot run and hide. Then, ask your guest to come closer. When your pet tries to run, hold him while ordering him to stay. Eventually, your dog should get used to the presence of guests in your house.

3. Apply Positive Reinforcement - Once your dog calms down and shows no sign of panic or fear, ask your guest to give him a treat. Do this a few times more. In time, your dog will associate visitors with a positive memory.

How to Stop Play Biting

Puppies are cute when they play, but the damage their pointy little teeth can cause is anything but. Make sure your puppy does not grow into a dog that uses his mouth to play rough. Here are some methods that work.

1. Yelp and Shun - Whenever your pup bites, yelp. The moment he lets you go, turn away from him and refuse to play. Before long, your dog will realize that using his mouth on people will make them turn away from him.

2. Trade - Ask your dog to give your arm back, for example, in exchange for a toy. When he does this, praise him.

3. Instant Muzzle - Once your pup makes a grab for your hand, flip your hand around him and then use it to close his mouth for several seconds. This is an unpleasant experience for dogs, and most of them get the hint quickly enough.

You need to stop puppy biting while you can because it can quickly evolve into other dog problems, such as aggression. Most owners wait until their pet has bitten someone before they start teaching their pet bite inhibition. Do not make the same mistake. By law, a dog bite is a dog bite. By teaching your dog bite inhibition before he turns 4 months old, you can take the harm out of his bite.

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